i8o THE GAY GENIUS The third was Tseyu, who had written to the Emperor begging for his brother's pardon and offering to surrender all his own official ranks and office to redeem him. In the testimony, Tseyu had not been charged with receiving any seriously slanderous poems from his brother, but on account of the family connection he was degraded and sent to Kao-an, about a hundred and sixty miles from the detention place of his brothes^ to sell wine at a government bureau. Of the others, Chang Fangping and another high official were fined thirty catties of copper, while Szema Kuang, Fan Chen, and eighteen other friends of Su Tungpo were fined twenty catties of copper each. Su Tungpo was let out of prison on New Year's Eve, after detention for four months and twelve days. Coming out of the prison gate on the north of the Tungcheng Street, he stopped for a while, sniffed the air, and felt pleasure in the breeze blowing on his face, hi the noise of the magpies, and in watching the people passing by on horseback in^ the streets. Incorrigible as he was, that very day he wrote two poems again wherein he said that "facing the wine cup" he "felt like coming out of a dream", and trying his poetic pen, he "found it was already inspired". "In all my life, writing has brought me into trouble. From now on the lesser my fame, the better it is for me. I feel like the old man's horse that has returned to the fort, And will no longer have youth's cock-fights in the east city." His lines began to flow again, and in these two poems there wemd certainly at least two lines that under the scrutiny of the same prtJs? cutors could equally convict him of disrespect for the Emperor. The reference to an old man at the fort losing his horse was harmless enough, since it referred to a parable that losing one's horse did not mean bad luck and finding it again did not mean good luck; in other words, one never knew what was good luck or bad. But the phrase "youth's cock-fights" refers to a certain Chia Chang. In his old age Chia told people that when he was a boy, he had obtained the Tang emperor's favour with his fighting cocks and the emperor had treated him as court jester and an actor. The point could be stretched thaT- once more he was referring to those at court as "jesters and actors"-^ term of abuse. In another line he said that he had "stolen an office^ that is, occupied a post without qualifications; but again, the phrase used was taken from a letter written by a great scholar and addressed to Tsao Tsao, a man popularly considered a great hypocrite and a wicked ruler. On completing the poem, Su threw down his pen and said: "I am really incorrigible."